Early Childhood Programs Blog

A Delightfully Drizzly Week

October 16, 2017 - Forest Dreamers

As the air slightly cooled  and the rain gently fell this week, the Forest Dreamers had their first taste of Irvine on a rainy day! Its always nice to see the places you visit in a different way! We also had the chance to use some indoor space on Monday and Tuesday and we took the time to do some art in our journals and experiment with lots of things.


On Monday, we took to the indoor Preschool classroom for a little fizzy fun. We noticed that adding blue vinegar (rain) to our baking soda (mountain?) it made a nice little rainy soothing sound. Everyone was very surprised and excited to see the chemical reaction! Our story for the day was Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh. We learned about telling stories with props and we even made our own props to go home and re- tell the story with. Rope became a ‘snake’ and cotton balls became the ‘mice’ of the story! We even got to take them home in a handy dandy jar!

We ended up outside in our favorite frog catching spot! We spent time seeing what kind of ‘plops’ we could make in the water and testing the depth of the water with sticks.

On Wednesday, things at Irvine looked a little different! Instead of a parking lot, there was a giant tent enclosing our parking spaces. We took some time to watch all of the workers busily getting ready for a big fundraiser! We collected some goldenrod from the edges of the sidewalks around the building and began our process of creating yellow dye. Here’s how we did it-

1.) First, we trimmed the goldenrod, then we put it in a big green pot.

2.) Next, we covered the goldenrod inside with water and put it on medium heat.

3.) After about 30 minutes, we poured the goldenrod into a mesh bag and squeezed out all of the moisture

4.) Another 30 minutes back on the heat with some yarn inside the pot made for some interesting results (see below!)

We also got to use our black walnut ink we created last week . We let the ink sit for many days and we all agreed that it was slightly darker after first boil, but not too much of a difference.

Our book for Wednesday was Mushroom in the Rain by Mirra Ginsburg and with seemingly perfect set up, right after the story, we found a trail covered in young mushrooms! And may I add, we have some really hard workers here that will put our groundskeeper, Mr. Wally, out of business. We had some Grade A grass clippers. We took some scissors and went to town! I hope the same vigor is used at home to help out around the house!


Another day of some indoor space fun was had on Tuesday. We practiced our letters and writing words in shaving cream! The greatest part was, once we were done, we were already clean!

Miss Ellen joined us for the day while Ms. Tara was at a professional development and she brought us a fun friend- a really neat box turtle! We learned why its called a box turtle (because it can fold up the bottom of its shell when it wants to hide) and we took a look at its coloring and noticed it had  perfect coloring on its shell/body  to hide in the fall. With fall thoughts in mind, we officially I.D’d our first leaf- the tulip poplar. It’s pretty easy to identify because they have the shape of a kitty cats face… oh yeah, and they are EVERYWHERE around Irvine! We thought it was funny to step on the fallen leaves and pretend they were meowing back at us!

On Thursday, we started class with a ‘baby’ fire. The fire was small and hard to start. With a little patience, we turned our baby fire into a ‘teenager fire’ (slightly bigger). We all pointed to which way the wind was blowing each time the smoke rose from the fire!

We roasted apples and marshmallows and saw what happened when we fed different things to the fire! Our favorite thing to burn was dry leaves because of the way they curled up when they burned!

We made it down to the meadow again and used our sweep nets to catch bouncing and bounding grasshoppers! They were fast, but our Forest Dreamers were determined catchers!